Monday, October 02, 2017

Respect the Fat File

I spent part of Sunday looking for a memo that was supposed to be in a "fat file."

Some of you are aware of my scorn for narrowly-focused files. They can aid the escape of documents, especially those that can easily fall into File 1.0 or File 1.4.

A fat file prevents that problem. It may take you a while to get through it, but you'll find the document.

That worked for me until yesterday. 

As I removed the document which was underneath a stack of papers on my desk, my question was "Why aren't you in the fat file?"

The culprit was my decision to leave the fat file behind when I went to a meeting where many notes were taken. Those notes went into my briefcase which instantly became a rival to the fat file. The material was later transferred to my desk, another evil rival.

This may seem like a small matter but you are reading the words of a man who once could tell if a key file was missing merely by lifting his briefcase and sensing the diminished weight. For years, all of my business travel consisted of a canvas bag filled with business magazines, a briefcase, and a suitcase. Each one held the same items trip after trip.

I recall thinking the other day that it was clever to leave the fat file behind when I trundled off to the meeting. Hey, less stuff to carry.

That will never happen again.

Keep in mind that this fat file is not some weather-beaten, dog-eared, manila veteran that I might want to hide. It is a nice leather case with a zipper. It is devoted to a single project.

Get too clever and the files will make you pay.

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